Gov. Kernan keynoter as Catholic lawyers celebrate annual Red Mass

Gov. Kernan keynoter as Catholic lawyers celebrate annual Red Mass

Father Tom Murphy of St. John's named "Man for all Seasons"

Contact: Ingrid E. Cummings, APR Rubicon Communications, LLC
Phone: 317-873-0651

(INDIANAPOLIS, October 6, 2003) -- James J. Ammeen, Jr. announced that Governor Joe Kernan will speak to an expected large crowd of Catholics, non-Catholics, and other dignitaries during tonight's annual Red Mass, celebrated by the Archbishop.

Father Tom Murphy of St. John's will be named "Man for All Seasons," an honor bestowed on an individual who best exemplifies the character of Sir Thomas More, Renaissance-era English author, statesman, politician, and Catholic martyr.

Red Mass to be held in Indianapolis Oct. 6

Where: Old St. John's Church 124 W. Georgia Street IndianapolisTime: 5:30 p.m.

What is a Red Mass? The judicial year in many jurisdictions around the world is traditionally opened by The Red Mass. The celebration of Mass is designed to provide all attending members of the legal community (judges, prosecutors, attorneys, law school professors and students, governmental officials, etc.) the opportunity to reflect on the God-given power and responsibility that are a part of their offices. Together Red Mass participants ask God to grant all the members of the legal community the virtues and gifts necessary for the proper and just administration of their duties.

While the Red Mass was first celebrated in France, it became popular in England beginning about the year 1310. For this Mass, the clerics wore red vestments; judges of the High Court of England and all doctors of law wore red robes or academic hoods. With so many participants in red, the Mass became known as the "Red Mass."

Patrick Cardinal Hayes celebrated the first Red Mass in the United States on October 6, 1928 at Saint Andrew Church in New York City. Presently, the Red Mass is normally celebrated in the United States on the first Monday in October where it coincides with the opening of a new session of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Celebrants for the Mass will be Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, Vicar General Monsignor Joseph Schaedel, and Monsignor Fred Easton, Archdiocese Judicial Vicar. There is a reception immediately afterwards at the Marriott Hotel, 350 W. Maryland Street, and the Red Mass Dinner will begin at 7:30 in the Indiana Ball Room. The reception/dinner is $35 for students and $40 for attorneys. The speaker at the Red Mass dinner will be the Honorable Joseph Kernan. The Red Mass is a unique opportunity for public officers and the practicing bar to receive a blessing from the Archbishop for giving life and meaning to the rule of law. The dinner provides a forum for meeting members of the judiciary and to hear Indiana's new Governor at an event where the focus is on ethics, integrity, and leadership.

Members of all religions are invited to attend the Red Mass.

James J. Ammeen Jr., an attorney with local firm Lewis & Kappes, is president of the St. Thomas More Society of Indianapolis. Ammeen says "We're expecting an unusually large turnout this year because of the respect and popularity of our "Man for All Seasons," Father Tom Murphy, and Governor Joe Kernan, who our research indicates is Indiana's first Catholic Governor."